by KP intern Kyle Predmore
Jamie Lefever started her new position as the Executive Director of the Armstrong County Tourist Bureau this month. Currently living in New Bethlehem, Lefever knows the local area well and has to figure out how to best promote the County and see what else there is to do in the area.
“Just starting here and coming through Kittanning, that river is a selling point during boating time,” Lefever said. “The trails here is another big thing to promote. In this area, you have friendly customer service and everyone here has been very nice. That is a really big selling point to me with how friendly and warm people are.”
Lefever identifies as a “people person” and wants to use that to her advantage in discovering what the word is on the street.
“I want to meet with different businesses, different people, different organizations and see how can we work together. I’m really community minded and think we all have to work together.”
In her new position, she mentioned that the main responsibility is to get people in the County, to visit, to stay in hotels and to help generate revenue.
“I also have to promote the County,” Lefever said. “We must ensure we let people know what we have here give them a reason to come here, promote things to do in the downtown area, restaurants and other things the area has to offer like the river. The area is very beautiful.”
Her experience in banking and being the previous Executive Director of the Clarion County Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC) will play a helping hand in her new role.
“I’m excited,” Lefever said. “I think this all fits and I think all of that that I’ve had in the past will help me promote tourism in Armstrong County. It’s a big County. I’m tasked with getting out there and meeting people. I think we will developing the plan that makes sense for the community. It’s more about what the community needs and how we can help as opposed to what I want to do.”
Armstrong County is 664 square miles. With the entire County to promote, she has to start somewhere and work her way out to help out the entire area.
“There are things to be offered here that maybe some people don’t know about, maybe even some things I don’t even know that I will learn about. I’ll talk to businesses and ask about how we can promote businesses, see where they are struggling and what we can do to help.”
This may be her first month as the new executive director, but she joyfully accepts the challenge of being new and meeting new people and connecting with the locals.
“I travel a lot and the neatest thing when I travel is meeting the locals,” Lefever said. “The people can tell me where to go and what they have in the area. That’s what I really like about it. Talking to the locals and learning from them first hand. Listening to them is the number one thing, and trying to see how we can help then is what we are here to do. Then it helps the County and that’s what I’m all about. I’m hoping to do great things.
“Tourism is a huge business in Pennsylvania so it needs to be a big business here in Armstrong County as well.”